X Æ A-12: Aircraft or Baby?

If you answered aircraft, you would, unfortunately, be incorrect. Elon Musk and Grimes have just announced the birth of their baby boy, with Elon announcing his name as X Æ A-12 on twitter (we may have to see a birth certificate to believe that one). Can you imagine having a name that no one could type without copying and pasting?

Some people have speculated that the name may actually be X Ash Archangel (still a mouthful). This is because the name of the ligature Æ is Ash and the nickname of the Lockheed A-12 was Archangel.

Whether X Æ A-12 Musk is the registered name of the new baby or not, it's clear that unique baby names are becoming more and more popular. So, why might Elon have chosen such an unusual name for his son?

Psychologist, Michael Varnum, has explained that today's society is becoming increasingly focused on individuality. Since our names are a big part of our identity he suggests that parents are opting for unusual names to give their child a headstart at being an individual.

He also says that there are many studies which show that wealthy people are usually self-focused and prefer individuality over conformity. In terms of human evolution, having an unusual name may be a risky move so those with more money can afford to stand out, whereas those with less money may prefer to play it safe and blend in.

This argument is strengthened by a study which shows that an increase in common names is correlated with high unemployment rates.

So it's perhaps Elon Musk's wealth and self-perceived sense of power which encouraged him to give his son a name that no-one else on the planet would have. Welcome to the world little X Æ A-12.

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